Most seasoned military spouses will say that staying busy is the best way to make a deployment go by faster. Sometimes this is easier said than done when you are facing a random Tuesday evening by yourself on the couch. Here is a list of our 10 favorite ways to keep your mind, body, and spirit busy during long separations or deployments.
#1 Begin or re-energize a hobby. If you are on your own with no children, deployments are a fantastic time to get into a hobby you enjoy that takes you out of the house. Offline.com is a great source for local events and ways to engage in hobbies that you may have never known you’d love. If you’re like me and have to stay in at night while the kiddos sleep, there are still tons of hobbies that can be done at home. Reading is an all time favorite, and helps pass the time so quickly when you are engrossed in an awesome book. Goodreads.com is an online community that you can join for free. It is a way to connect with friends and share your favorite books, find new ones, and review ones that you’ve read. It can even suggest new books based on your favorites!
#2 Learn a new language. As we all know, the military can take you anywhere! While English is widely used in other countries, knowing the native language can be both liberating and extremely useful. You can even find free downloads if you have access to a local library!
#3 Plan things to look forward to. Schedule weekly brunch dates with a friend, sign up for a monthly gift like MilSO Box, or schedule a weekly Facetime with your sister.
Knowing that something awesome will be coming your way every week or month can give you something exciting to look forward to and speed up each week or month.
#4 Start a DIY project. As the holidays are approaching, there are TONS of ideas on seasonal DIY decor on Pinterest. Deck out your house with cheap gourds, pumpkins, and burlap. Make your own ornament from military items. Better yet, schedule a date with your best friend to come over and work on your projects over wine.
#5 Become a volunteer. Get involved with your local USO or FRG. If you want a break from the base, find volunteer positions in your surrounding area. Volunteermatch.org offers a great way to search for causes that mean the most to you. They even show you how much time you will be expected to commit and the distance it is from any zip code. I find that the best way to get out of my own rut is to focus on helping others.